Sunday, December 28, 2008

Buttermilk Honey Bread - Part One

We spent Christmas in the North Georgia Mountains and came home today to a completely empty pantry. We needed bread but didn't have any oatmeal or any eggs or anything special, so we had to find a tried and true recipe that required nothing that wasn't in the pantry.

Dylan and I decided to make Buttermilk Honey Bread from my favorite Beth Hensperger cookbook, The Bread Bible. We had the buttermilk and I'm a beekeeper so we always have wonderful honey from my bees.

Often Dylan and I make bread and when he's asleep for nap, I shape the loaves and bake them. Today we started early enough that I was able to show him how to shape the loaves. We cut the dough into two parts for two 9X5 pans. We flattened the dough and Dylan is, in the first picture, using his fingertips to press out the air bubbles.

Then we began to roll up the loaf, sealing each roll by pressing the dough of the roll against the flat dough beneath.

Dylan loved that it got "fatter and fatter" as we rolled.

In the end we pinched the seam tight shut and used the side of our hands to flatten and seal the ends of the loaves.

Here are the ingredients:

3/4 cup warm water
1 T active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 T butter, melted
3 T honey
1 T salt
6 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour

Soften the yeast in the warm water with the sugar. Warm the buttermilk and add the melted butter and honey. Add the yeast mixture after it has proofed for about 10 minutes. Then add the salt and 2 cups of the flour and mix well. Add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time and continue mixing. I used a mixer and change to a dough hook after about 5 cups of flour. Knead the bread until it looks right and leave it to rise in a greased bowl, covered with plastic until doubled in bulk. Punch it down, form loaves and allow them to rise until they are doubled. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Every recipe in this cookbook is fabulous.
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